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Weekly Digest: LVMH jewellery sales, a fancy vivid showstopper and diamonds throughout history


In our weekly summary of the biggest news from the international diamond and diamond jewellery industries, we consider sales rises at LVMH and Alrosa, uncover a 20ct yellow diamond at Christie’s, two 50ct white diamonds at Sotheby’s, and a fascinating new book that traces 2,000 years of diamond history. 

LVMH reports 9 percent rise in jewellery and watch sales 

Luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton posted a 9 percent year-on-year rise in sales of its jewellery and watches in the first quarter of 2018 to €959 million.

In the first quarter of 2018, the Watches & Jewellery business group recorded organic revenue growth of 20%. ‘Organic’ refers to comparable structure and exchange rates. 

“Bulgari enjoyed an excellent performance and continues to gain market share thanks to the strength of its iconic lines Serpenti, B.Zero1, Diva and Octo,” LVMH said. 

Chaumet also impressed in the first quarter with the unveiling of its new high-end jewellery collection.

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Demand for larger diamonds underpins Alrosa sales

Russian miner Alrosa’s sales fell 1.3% to $559.5 million in March compared with the same period a year ago, as the market showed signs of slowing, but demand for larger stones was buoyant. 

Alrosa has experienced strong demand for larger stones over 10 carats. Image Credit: Alrosa. 

“There was a slight seasonal cooling off in demand in March. However, good results of special size diamond auctions (over 10.8 carats) ensured higher sales this month compared with February 2018,” Alrosa deputy CEO Yury Okoemov said in a statement.

Alrosa’s sales jumped 20% year on year in the first quarter, as demand for medium-sized and large rough diamonds increased. 

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Total sales for the three months ending March 31 rose to $1.61 billion, of which $1.58 billion was from rough sales and $23.7 million from polished.

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Christie’s magnificent jewels on public view in London

A selection of magnificent diamond jewellery was on public view at Christie’s King Street gallery in London during the second week of April, ahead of the May 16 auction in Geneva.

One of the stars of Christie’s upcoming auction – a fancy vivid yellow diamond ring of 20.49 carats. Image Credit: Christie’s. 

Standout pieces of jewellery at the London view from April 9-12, included a spectacular fancy vivid yellow diamond ring of 20.49 carats, estimate CHF 3,800,000 – 4,500,000; and an important late 19th century emerald and diamond necklace by Tiffany & Co., circa 1880, estimate CHF 700,000 – 1,200,000, which was originally sold at Christie’s New York over 20 years ago.

Additional highlights included a fancy intense purplish pink diamond ring, estimate CHF 3,500,000 - 5,000,000; and a pair of Burmese sapphire earrings, by Bulgari, estimate CHF 1,500,000 – 2,000,000.

The next public view will take place in New York from May 4-8.

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Sotheby’s to auction two 50ct flawless white diamonds

Sotheby’s will auction two flawless white diamonds weighing over 50 carats each, estimated at a combined price of more than US $15 million, according to Rapaport

This 50.39 carat round brilliant-cut diamond will go up for auction in May. Image Credit: Sotheby’s. 

The first is a round brilliant-cut, 51.71 carat stone, estimated at $8.2 million to $9.5 million, while the second is an oval-shaped, 50.39 carat diamond, with an estimated price of $7.3 million to $8 million. Both stones are D colour, flawless, type IIa and the second largest of their shape to be sold at auction. 

The 51.71ct oval diamond ring to be auctioned by Sotheby’s. Image Credit: Sotheby’s.

The stones will go on sale at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva on May 15. 

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Gems expert Jack Ogden launches diamond history book in London

Jewellery and gemstone luminaries turned out for the launch of a new book about the early history of diamonds, written by veteran gems expert Jack Ogden, at the historic Goldsmiths’ Hall in London on April 11.

The book, entitled Diamonds: An Early History of the King of Gems, provides a lavishly illustrated, in-depth coverage of two thousand years of diamond jewellery and commerce.

This history of diamonds illuminates myriad facets of the ‘king of gems,’ including a cast of larger-than-life characters such as Alexander the Great, the Mughal emperor Jahangir, and East India Company adventurers.

The book is published by Yale University Press and distributed via Amazon and other retailers.

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Words by David Brough

Discover more industry news on the CARAT+ website every week. 


CARAT+ is The World’s Premier Diamond Event, covering the full spectrum of the diamond and diamond jewellery trades. The show specialises in four sectors: loose diamonds, branded diamond jewellery, non-branded diamond jewellery and services for the diamond jewellery industry.

Taking place in Hall 1 and Hall 4 of the Antwerp Expo on 6, 7 and 8 May, entry to the show is restricted exclusively to industry professionals, including diamond and jewellery wholesalers and manufacturers from around the world, and jewellery retailers from across Europe and the wider world. 

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